Here Are 12 Super Easy Ways To Instantly Relax And Sleep Better
All these ways to treat yo' self to inner peace.
When it comes to de-stressing yourself, never underestimate the power of well-placed stretching, breathing and meditating. As a precaution, it's always a good idea to talk to your doctor before taking on a new exercise or breathing routine.
Trust us, it's more than just
inhale-exhale-repeat. Here's how to actually do it right: Sit on a chair with your feet firmly on the floor, and straighten your back so that it's at a 90° angle to the ground. You can also assume the lotus pose, too. Relax your shoulders and neck, and then close your eyes.
When you breathe deeply through your nose, direct the air towards your diaphragm — the pit of your stomach and belly — and hold it for three seconds before exhaling through the mouth. Do this at least four more times. With every breath, try relaxing the muscles in your face, jaw, hands and hip just a little more. When you're done, you'll feel tension melting away.
Savasana: the corpse pose
Perfect for when you have some room to stretch out on the floor — or in bed! In this pose, you'll lie on your back, with your legs a little spread out, arms extended from the body and palms open. Concentrate on the air that enters and exits your body for around five minutes, and try meditating on positive thoughts.
The 4-7-8 breathing technique
A professor from the University of Arizona created
this technique, which consists of sitting with your straight back against a wall, and inhaling through the nose for four seconds, holding your breath for seven seconds, and then exhaling over eight seconds. To reap the full benefits of this naturally tranquilizing technique, start while you're sitting down, and keep going when you're in bed until you start to feel sleepy.
Bedtime is primetime for anxious thoughts to strike. While it’s tempting to go over everything we did and felt earlier in the day — and everything we’ll have to do tomorrow — it’s way more constructive to redirect your thinking. The quickest way to do this is by asking yourself questions: Is the threat I’m feeling right now real? Or is it just my imagination? What can I do right now to stop feeling fear and uncertainty?
Go over these thoughts with a dim light on, and make sure you curb your caffeine intake as early in the day as possible. And try
really hard to not check your phone right before bed, also.
If you spend most of your day sitting down, this technique will help your body relax before going to sleep. Stand with your legs apart, one foot in front of the other, and bend the front knee. Lower the back knee, supporting your foot with the instep, and lower your hip.
Keep your back straight and look up to stretch your body as much as possible. Breath deeply and switch sides. Do five reps.
Head and face massages
The headache you get from spending hours in front of a screen can last through the night and into the next day. You can help get rid of it by massaging your scalp in gentle circles with your fingertips.
Start at your forehead and go down to the back of your head, then do it from the crown of your head to your ears. Apply light pressure on the forehead, around the eyes and between the eyebrows. Finish up with a few circles around your cheeks as well, and don't feel weird about making some weird faces until everything feels completely free of tension.
Not a yoga technique, but it
is still a literal way to release tension. Did you know that crying activates different substances related to relief and pain reduction? Crying at night can especially help you "unclog" feelings that you have accumulated, and it will tire you out physically, too.
The tennis ball massage
Wavebreakmedia Ltd / Getty Images
Grab a tennis ball (or any similarly sized hard ball) and, while standing, place it between your back and the wall. Move the ball around around with your body, pressing against the parts where you feel more tension. If you want, you can also take the ball to bed and use it against your legs and hips.
Uttanasana: standing forward bend
This pose is called Uttanasana and can help you relax and relieve head and back pains. Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart, then bending your torso towards the ground while holding your legs. After 15 seconds, straighten back up slowly (first with your back, and then your head so that you won't hurt yourself), and take a deep breath. Do this for 10 reps.
This technique is perfect as a regular morning or afternoon ritual. First, find a comfortable position to sit in with your eyes closed. Take six long, slow and deep breaths, directing your attention towards whatever light you sense even with your eyes closed. Try to
feel it. Visualize that light unfurling at the crown of your head and traveling through the head, the spine, and the heart, and going down through the arms and extending into both hands. Focus your energy and thoughts on all that you have in this moment, and try getting yourself to a state of gratitude.
Holding your breath
Assume a comfortable position (sitting or laying down), close your eyes, inhale and exhale normally three times. Feel the air softly and slowly enter your nose and go through your lungs until it reaches the abdomen. Exhale.
Then, take one long, slow, and deep breath. Pause, holding your breath for five seconds. Release, exhaling with a long, deep breath.
Repeat this about 10 to 15 times. But don't worry about the exact number of repetitions — do it until it doesn't feel forced to hold your breath.
Universal love breathing
Once you're in a comfortable position, close your eyes, then inhale and exhale normally three times. On your next inhale, direct your mind to focus on things that bring you peace. When you exhale, imagine physically releasing tension and anxiety.
Another way to envision this is to think about light — how it feels entering your body — on your inhale, and using your exhale to release what you have no use for. Inhale love, exhale fears. You got this.
These tips, and many more, come courtesy of
Angélica Meza, a certified life coach and specialist in emotional processes, and Erika Martínez, a yoga and meditation specialist.
This post was translated from Spanish. BuzzFeed Daily
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